2019, January`, Newsletter

Newsletter Jan 14, 2019.

NEWS TO SHIPS BY NEWS ACCESS INDIA – MONDAY, JANUARY 14, 2019

FRONT PAGE NEWS

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IT’S BJP VS OPPORTUNISTIC ALLIANCES AND DYNASTIC PARTIES, SAYS PM MODI

Taking a dig at Opposition parties for their efforts to form a grand
alliance against his party, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said the
BJP is here to serve the country, whereas there are “opportunistic alliances
and dynastic parties” on the other side.

“They want to build their own empire, but we want to empower people,” he
said, adding that the alliance against the BJP was a “short-term” one being
built for the benefit of the respective parties.

“Unlike other parties, we are not in politics to divide and rule and to
build a vote bank. We are here to serve the country in every way,” he said
during an interaction with booth-level BJP workers from five parliamentary
constituencies in Tamil Nadu. “The upcoming polls are important for the BJP
and the country to further our development agenda.”

“On one hand, we have our development agenda, and on the other, there are
opportunistic alliance and dynastic parties,” he said, without naming
anyone.

Taking a swipe at the Opposition, the prime minister asked, “If Modi is so
bad and the government is not working, why is this alliance being formed?
Shouldn’t you be confident about yourself? They know this is a working
government.”

PM COVERING UP ‘SCAM’, ‘FEAR’ MAKING HIM ‘CORRUPT’, ALLEGES RAHUL

Stepping up his attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Rafale deal
issue, Congress president Rahul Gandhi Sunday accused the PM of covering up
the “scam”, saying “fear”was making him “corrupt” and “destroy” key
institutions.

Gandhi also cited a media report which claimed the Modi government decided
last month to nominate senior Supreme Court Judge A K Sikri to the vacant
post of president/member in the London-based Commonwealth Secretariat
Arbitral Tribunal (CSAT).

On 8 January, Justice Sikri’s vote proved decisive in the removal of CBI
director Alok Verma over corruption charges.

“When the scales of justice are tampered with, anarchy reigns. This PM will
stop at nothing, stoop to nothing & destroy everything, to cover up the
#RafaleScam,” Gandhi tweeted tagging the media report. “He’s driven by fear.
It’s this fear that is making him corrupt & destroy key institutions,” the
Congress chief alleged.

PAINED, JUSTICE SIKRI PULLS OUT OF A LONDON ASSIGNMENT

Justice Sikri, the second senior-most judge of the Supreme Court, is learnt
to have expressed his “pain” over the connection being drawn over his
nomination to the CSAT with the decision of the CBI panel that decided to
transfer Verma, despite there being “no correlation” between the two.

Justice Sikri’s decision has taken the government by surprise since it had
obtained his consent for the assignment in the first week of December last
year, almost a month before the Chief Justice of India nominated him to the
high-powered CBI selection panel.

Government sources also pointed out that Justice Sikri was part of the
Supreme Court Bench that assembled in the middle of the night last summer to
curtail the window for the floor test in Karnataka over apprehensions of
horse-trading following the Assembly elections. That ruling had dashed the
BJP’s hopes of winning a majority.

CONG WILL CONTEST ALL 80 SEATS IN UP

A day after the SP and the BSP announced alliance for the Lok Sabha polls in
the state, senior Congress leaders on Sunday held a brainstorming meeting at
the party’s state headquarters in Lucknow to discuss future course of
action.

The Congress declared it will contest all the 80 Lok Sabha seats from the
state on its own.

However, the grand old party of India has kept the doors of a possible
alliance open saying if any secular party, which is competent to fight the
BJP and willing to go with it (Congress), then it will be accommodated.

Speaking to reporters here, party general secretary and UP in-charge Ghulam
Nabi Azad said, “The Congress will contest on all the 80 Lok Sabha seats in
Uttar Pradesh, and defeat the BJP.” Azad also expressed hope that the
Congress will double its tally of seats of 21, which it had secured in the
2009 Lok Sabha elections.

To a question whether his party will not forge a coalition with any
political party, Azad said, “If any political party is willing to accompany
the Congress, and the Congress feels that it can fight the BJP, then it will
be definitely accommodated.We wanted that Congress should have been a part
of the grand alliance (against the BJP) in UP. But, if someone does not want
to walk along, then nothing could be done.”

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

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TRUMP HID DETAILS OF FACE-TO-FACE ENCOUNTERS WITH PUTIN FROM OFFICIALS

President Donald Trump has gone to extraordinary lengths to conceal details
of his conversations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, including on at
least one occasion taking possession of the notes of his own interpreter and
instructing the linguist not to discuss what had transpired with other
administration officials, current and former U.S. officials said.

Trump did so after a meeting with Putin in 2017 in Hamburg that was also
attended by then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. U.S. officials learned of
Trump’s actions when a White House adviser and a senior State Department
official sought information from the interpreter beyond a readout shared by
Tillerson.

U.S. officials said there is no detailed record, even in classified files,
of Trump’s face-to-face interactions with the Russian leader at five
locations over the past two years. Such a gap would be unusual in any
presidency, let alone one that Russia sought to install through what U.S.
intelligence agencies have described as an unprecedented campaign of
election interference.

Special counsel Robert Mueller III is thought to be in the final stages of
an investigation that has focused largely on whether Trump or his associates
conspired with Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign. The new details
about Trump’s continued secrecy underscore the extent to which little is
known about his communications with Putin since becoming president.

After this story was published online, Trump said in an interview late
Saturday with Fox News host Jeanine Pirro that he did not take particular
steps to conceal his private meetings with Putin and attacked The Washington
Post and its owner Jeff Bezos. He said he talked with Putin about Israel,
among other subjects. “Anyone could have listened to that meeting. That
meeting is open for grabs,” he said, without offering specifics.

When Pirro asked if he is or has ever been working for Russia, Trump
responded, “I think it’s the most insulting thing I’ve ever been asked.”

Former U.S. officials said that Trump’s behavior is at odds with the known
practices of previous presidents, who have relied on senior aides to witness
meetings and take comprehensive notes then shared with other officials and
departments.

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